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How long can a fishy last in a bag?


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While not a breeding post, since some of us who breed also ship fish, I figured I'd drop this here.

While working in my fish room the other day, I found a sealed bag still filled with water and air. I thought it must be an empty bag I was testing with, but nope, it had a single L397 in it!  I then recalled that I over-counted last time i shipped fish and set that one bag aside  But, alas, I then promptly forgot about it.

How long ago was this? TWELVE DAYS! Poor guy looked a tad pale, but he was still very perky and active. I felt terrible for him so I immediately cut the bag and plopped him back into an aquarium where he (or she) is now doing fine.

I tend to keep my bags small -- about 6"x2" when filled. I use clean water (not tank water) mixed with a few drops of Amquel Plus and a stress coat product. The bags are half-filled with water, then inflated the rest of the volume with pure O2. I don't know what volume of water is in the bag  (maybe 1 cup?). It tends to be enough for the fish turn around, and splash around, easily, but no more.  The temps of my basement over the past almost 2 weeks have been between 65 - 72. So the mild temps certainly helped.

Anyway, for those who think about purchasing fish online but are worried about the fish being in bags for more than a couple days. They can take it fine, plus some, if packed intelligently and with care.

In the end, I guess it's temperature that's the #1 killer. After a few years shipping frequently, I can say this matches my observations. More than anything, I lose fish to heat, not duration in transit. 

Thanks for reading if ya made it this far!

Edited by tolstoy21
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On 6/1/2024 at 5:53 PM, lefty o said:

thats quite a while. sure glad you found it before much longer.

Yeah, it was quite drained of color when I found it. But, despite, that, it appeared active and not lethargic. Part of me wonders if the color was drained due to being in darkness, as I notice that fish tend to go pale after being left in the dark a few hours.

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On 6/1/2024 at 4:57 PM, tolstoy21 said:

Yeah, it was quite drained of color when I found it. But, despite, that, it appeared active and not lethargic. Part of me wonders if the color was drained due to being in darkness, as I notice that fish tend to go pale after being left in the dark a few hours.

i would bet being in the dark had a large bearing on it being pale.

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